It gives me great pleasure to welcome Linda Huber, author of The Saturday Secret back to Linda’s Book Bag. Linda previously told us about her writing life in a post that you can read here. Today Linda is persuading us not to be too tidy!
The Saturday Secret
The Saturday Secret and other Stories is a collection of fifteen tales of life, love, and family – perfect for a coffee-break! Previously published in UK national magazines, the stories are about relationships within the family and without – some are humorous, some bittersweet; all are upbeat and emotional.
The Party Partners Belinda and Phillip have fun at weddings, engagement parties and all sorts of celebrations. But anything more personal was out of the question – or was it?
Family Matters Gary shares Sharon’s dream of having children – but as far as he’s concerned, it’s something for the future.
Corinna’s Big Day It was the most important day in baby Corinna’s life, but for Madge, it was one of the saddest…
Lucky for Some You might say drawing number 13 in the cycle rally was bad luck. You might say falling off was bad luck, too. But Hilary knew better!
Patiently Waiting Mike woke up after his operation and saw the girl of his dreams. The problem was the engagement ring she wore on a chain round her neck…
The Saturday Secret What was she up to? The whole family wanted to know! But Gran wasn’t telling…
And many more…
The Dangers of Being Too Tidy
A Guest Post by Linda Huber
Two things happened to me in 2013. Both were l o n g events; the kind that started one day and ended many months later, and both turned my life upside down. The more far-reaching was the publication of my first suspense novel, The Paradise Trees. From acceptance in January, through editing to publication in September, it took about 150% of my normal energy. And at the same time, I was selling the rambling old house my sons and I lived in, tidying and organising all our ‘stuff’ – we were downsizing from ten rooms, including the cellar, to four. Looking back, I don’t know how on earth I managed. That four-room flat was even a stopgap; we were there for 18 months while our new flat was being built. Which meant a lot of ‘stuff’ spent the duration in packing cases, and even more was ‘tidied’ away for good.
When you’re about to move house, and especially when you know you’ll soon be moving again, you look at your possessions and think, ‘I never use this. I never even look at it now. Do I really need to keep it?’ And when you’re downsizing so drastically, there’s a lot you can’t keep.
One little bundle that didn’t see the light of day all the time we were in the temporary flat was a 35-litre bin bag containing women’s magazines. My first pieces of published writing were in these mags; I hadn’t looked at them for years but I couldn’t have disposed of them any more than I could dispose of old photos of my children. They dated from the late nineties, when my first romantic short story was published. Fifty-odd others followed, humorous, light-hearted stories – and then one day I discovered the love of my writing life, psychological suspense, and I’ve never looked back.
Until last year, when I was searching for shoes in the spare room wardrobe and came across the bin bag of magazines. I looked at my story collection and thought, ‘I wonder…’ A couple of emails later, I knew that a) the rights to these stories now belonged to me, and b) lots of people had self-published collections of their ex-magazine stories.
I decided to do the same with some of mine, and also to make it a charity collection. Profits from both eBook and paperback sales of The Saturday Secret will go to a medical charity (still to be chosen – I plan to see what’s happening in the world at the end of this year, and then decide).
The moral of this story, for writers, is – never downsize. Keep everything you write, even in bin bags. I hadn’t looked at my stories for over a decade (I had to work my way through them, giving the characters smartphones etc), but I’m so glad I kept them.
And – every bit as good as making this charity collection – I found a story I can mould and change into another suspense novel. Watch this space!
About Linda Huber
Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years being a full-time mum to two boys and a rescue dog.
Linda’s writing career began in the nineties, and since then she’s had over fifty short stories and articles published, as well as five psychological suspense novels. Her books are set in places she knows well – Cornwall (childhood holidays), The Isle of Arran (teenage summers), Yorkshire (visiting family), as well as Bedford and Manchester (visiting friends).
After spending large chunks of the current decade moving house, she has now settled in a beautiful flat on the banks of Lake Constance in north-east Switzerland, where she’s working on another suspense novel.